Boracay publication Boracay Sun News posted on its Facebook page Tuesday night the higher environmental fees that Boracay tourists, both Aklanon and non-Aklanon, will be paying to be allowed entry to the island.
From the previous price of P75, Malay Municipal Ordinance no. 431 will impose a P300.00 environmental fee for foreign tourists, and P150.00 for Aklanon tourists, or those who are residents of Aklan. We tried to verify this information through the Malay Municipal Tourism Office’s Facebook page, and was told they are “awaiting official release of that guideline.” The ordinance was approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Aklan last November 9, according to a report in Iloilo News.
The Iloilo News quotes Malay councilor Maylynn Aguirre Graf as saying the new ruling is needed for “the preservation of Boracay Island.” According to Graf, the mandatory ordinance is an “indispensable revenue-generating project for the local government of Malay, Aklan, and provides funding for tourism infrastructure and helps address environmental and tourism concerns.”
Comments on the Boracay Sun News post, however, oppose the increase. Some say it is another burden to tourists who already have the additional expense of going through a Covid test to be able to enter the island. Another comment said they will just take their business elsewhere. Bye, Boracay.
Nowie Potenciano and his wife Odette owns six establishments in the island, although one has closed permanently and the rest are closed temporarily. Nowie says this increase in fees comes at a very inopportune time. “We’re all trying to encourage visitors to return to the island and making it more expensive for them will have the opposite effect,” he says. “I would think that this would even be the time for the LGU to drop these fees to zero.”
Meanwhile, the same Facebook post says there will be no increase in the Php 100 terminal fee at the Caticlan and Cagban ports but local government has also upped the terminal fee at Tabon port to P100 from the previous P50.